The Badger Face has its origins in the hills of Wales, acclimatised to challenging weather and poor grazing, but in more recent years has proved itself as a commercially viable sheep in a range of management models.
Easy lambing and low cost maintenance, the Badger Face is a hardy ewe fed only half a kilo of concentrate with hay or silage leading up to lambing. Producing up to 180% live lambs weaned at about 16 weeks. Slaughter weights reach 40kg. Ewes in all locations continue to produce good lamb crops for up to 10 years. Plenty of milk and strong lambs with plenty of "get up and go" make the Badger Face an ideal low labour input breed for extensive lamb production either bred pure or used to produce fat lambs straight from the ewe when crossed with continental or Suffolk rams.
All across England & Wales (and now in parts of Ireland, France and Belgium) reports of 200% live lambs are common place. The breed is ideal for small and commercial flocks where the management ranges from "part of the family" to "vacuum cleaners" following dairy cows or grazing the hill where other breeds would not survive. The medium sized ewe weighing 40-60kg allows a higher stocking rate than larger breeds; this combined with a good lamb crop and low concentrate requirement gives more lambs per hectare producing a good cash return. Even when crossed with bigger terminal sires the lamb birth weight of 3 –5kg results in very few problems.
Some farmers like to put a ram with ewe lambs. The Badger ram produces a strong lamb, usually white and polled that is determined to live and chase the ewe that often has a poor mothering instinct. Ease of lambing, a will to live and a lamb that will grow to 35-40 kg by late autumn make this breed an ideal choice for crossing with any breed. Very successful crosses have been reported; the best results have come from Suffolk, Texel, Blue du Maine & Blue Faced Leicester. Ram lambs rarely have horns and mostly follow the sires colouring or white. Few lambing problems and excellent growth rates can be expected. Texel cross killed out at 50% producing 19kg dead weight. 35-40kg liveweight at 15 weeks from Bleu du Maine. Suffolk cross outperformed Rouge with consistent R3L grades at 19kg dead weight. Badger Face Mules make perfect mothers and produce superb lambs with any continental sire.
Quality lamb offering flavour, taste, succulence and unbeatable eating quality produced from ewes fed mainly on grass. The lambs have the ability to grow and finish on grass producing a completely natural product. Carcass weights of 12-14 kg can be reached at 16 weeks from pure breds and 18kg carcasses can be expected from late autumn finished lambs. Growth rates of 250gm per day are easily achievable. You will find customers always come back for more.